Auction giant eBay buys France's iBazar

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Ebay, the world's largest online trading community, strengthened its position in Europe by acquiring France's iBazar, a leading European auction site.

Ebay will issue approximately 2.25 million shares of common stock, subject to a minimum valuation of $66 million and a maximum valuation of $112 million, based on the value of eBay stock at closing.

"In one strategic move we have increased our pan-European footprint, as well as the strength of our global trading community," says Meg Whitman, president-CEO, eBay. According to projections by Forrester Research, Europe's total e-commerce revenues in 2000 topped $80 billion.

"We have built iBazar into Europe's best auction Web site," says Pierre-Francois Grimaldi, president and founder, iBazar S.A. "Taking it to the next level will be easier by becoming part of a larger company."

Ebay currently is in nine international markets, including the U.K., Germany, Austria, France, Italy, Canada, Australia, Japan, and Korea. In its existing European marketplaces, during the fourth quarter of 2000, eBay users generated more than $137 million in gross merchandise sales.

Launched from its Paris headquarters in October 1998, iBazar features online marketplaces in eight countries: Belgium, Brazil, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden. iBazar has a total of 2.4 million registered users; during the fourth quarter of 2000, it reported more than 3.1 million listings and gross merchandise sales of more than $95 million.

Copyright February 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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